Imagine asking your Google home to order a Pizza for you. Who will they order it from? Products like Google Adwords could take on an important role with voice. Consider that today, search returns 10 results per page, and while most people never get past page 1 of their search results, this still yields 10 possible options. With voice, navigating options may be more difficult and so being first will be important.
“Google, order me a pepperoni pizza”
“Absolutely, Pizza Hut can get that to you in 30 minutes. What size would you like delivered?”
How many people would reject the Pizza Hut option and ask to hear the next 9 options just to find the pizza place they want? Unless they have something specific in mind already, I believe they would settle for the first option because it is easy.
So, the question becomes, which of the ecosystems do you trust to make your decision for you? Who are you willing to give all your data to – after all, the better they know you, the better they can predict what you would really want.
One problem with the age of Voice that is rapidly approaching, will be fragmentation. With so many brands trying to solve consumer problems by building connected ecosystems, the risk is that all ecosystems exist as walled gardens making it difficult for consumers to move between products and brands.
It used to be that only Apple operated in a walled garden and everyone else focused on compatibility. And while that is still somewhat true, the revenue that Apple generates by locking consumers to their ecosystem is now a model that many brands are trying to replicate, and voice is a visible manifestation of this walled garden thinking risks taking hold.
Will you only buy appliances that connect to your Google Home in the future? Will you want an Alexa enabled fridge that can detect what food you have and order what you need automatically from Amazon’s Prime Now? These might sound like far off scenarios, but the products are already available to buy today. Now it’s just a question of adoption rates, and with adoption rates moving fast, interconnected ecosystems are likely to appear faster than we think.